Why Sheffield Wednesday are wary of Preston North End strength

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Sheffield Wednesday face a stern examination of their promotion credentials when they go to Preston North End.

The Lilywhites, managed by Alex Neil, are a difficult side to beat on their own turf. They suffered just five defeats at Deepdale last season as they secured a 14th-placed Championship finish.

And Preston have made a strong start in their own backyard this time around, overcoming Wigan Athletic and Stoke City 3-0 and 3-1 respectively.

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Owls caretaker chief Lee Bullen, who hopes full-back Liam Palmer (back) will be passed fit to play, said: "It’s probably one of the hardest away games we could get.

Preston boss Alex Niel (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)Preston boss Alex Niel (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)
Preston boss Alex Niel (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

“Alex Neil has done a great job. He did really well at Norwich and Preston. It looks like a really good fit for the club and Alex.

"Their recruitment has been really good, picking up players from the lower level and giving them a platform to show themselves.

"I know Alex and his assistant realy well. They seem to have built a good working environment there.

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“They play front-foot football and have plenty of energy, but there’s areas we can exploit.

“Hopefully we can put on a positive show for the supporters. I think we can do that.

“We’re trying to find a consistent team and the lads who have been playing deserve the jersey. We’ve been playing well and getting results. We’re in a good place."

Wednesday have a lousy recent record against Preston. Their last victory at Deepdale came back in December 2011.

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"Our record doesn’t stand up well against them away from home," Bullen conceded. "But as with anything, the more negative results you’ve had against a certain opposition, the closer you are to getting that elusive win."

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